A few weeks ago I wrote a post about chasing after your dreams. In case you missed it, you can find it here. The post discusses the amazing benefits and blessings that occurs when we chase after the dreams God has for us, opposed to those of our own. As I wrote that post I was in the midst of chasing down a dream that I honestly didn’t even know I had. The reason was because it was actually a dream God had for me…and boy was it better than ANYTHING I could have ever thought humanly possible or dreamed up on my own. That dream is now my next adventure…
As my final semester of college was coming to an end this December I was truly lost. I was graduating with a degree that I honestly had no desire to pursue at the time, I had applied for many internships to work with the NCAA or college athletic programs (which is what I was dreaming for) and I did not get a single one (that would pay me at least). I hit dead-ends and closed doors one after another. So I finally gave in and decided that I would start looking for teaching jobs since that was the degree I had. I applied for many schools, grade levels, positions, and coaching jobs…but nothing was working out. It was 6 days before graduation and I had no job, my roommate and housing plans fell through, and I was not the least bit excited about anything honestly. But I just kept praying God would give me something. At that point in time I was ready to settle for ordinary, I was ready to throw in the towel and take any job offered whether it was adventurous or not. And to be frank I partly believed that my best days, best adventures and experiences, were behind me in college because I was about to become an adult. But then something happened…
The Tuesday before graduation I had a phone conference with a lady, we will call Fee, I had sent an email out of the blue to her a week prior who created a collegiate sport called Acrobatics & Tumbling. She created the sport 7 years ago and it was a combination of cheerleading and gymnastics made up of all females and they compete at the collegiate level. I just wanted to ask her some questions about how one might become involved or could get into coaching this sport later down the road. I thought nothing of it, I was just being inquisitive as usual…but God had bigger plans in mind. I spoke with Fee for an hour that day, asking me why I wanted to coach, what my dreams and aspirations were, and what was I willing to risk to accomplish those dreams. By the end of that phone call she had informed me that she would possibly be calling me back in a few days with possible coaching opportunities. Of course I called my parents immediately (and by this point I’ll go ahead and say there was NOTHING else I could possibly shock them with, they were used to it) and told them so that they could pray. That evening I went over to a family’s home in Charlotte who I am very close to and they treat me as their own. That night before I left, their entire family circled around me to pray that God would come through in a mighty way with this opportunity. In less than 2 hours I received and email saying she had a job opportunity for me! The next day she informed me of a graduate assistant coaching position at Concordia University of….wait for it….Wisconsin… My heart sank, solely because the cold is one of my least favorite things in the entire world and everybody knows I am a true southern girl. I heard her out, and the more we talked the more the idea grew on me. She told me to look at it like a 6 month adventure of a lifetime…instantly my ears perked because adventure had been what I was praying for, what my heart longed for, what I thought was impossible. The next day I was able to speak with the head coach (whom is the same age as me and had a very similar athletic background) and my level of excitement continued to increase. I prayed, my family prayed, my adoptive families prayed, and my closest friends…and on Friday, December 17, 2016 I accepted the job.
Everything has fallen into place so perfectly and peacefully I have not a single anxiety, fear, or doubt that this is not God’s plan for me. I have always wanted to be a part of the NCAA because of the huge impact it made on my life competing in college. In my mind I thought that would have been through administration but God did greater, He did greater beyond my wildest dreams, plans, and imagination! The opportunities I am going to have in Wisconsin are far greater than the cold temperatures or feet of snow I have no earthly idea how to drive in. I am going to have the opportunity to build new relationships, coach and encourage a team of 20+ young women, and travel all over the country creating memories and finding new adventures. I have been asked repeatedly “Are you scared?”, “Are you nervous?” But I can honestly say, not one bit. I know that God has great plans for me, and I also know there will be many difficult times being so far from home, in a different state, and not in the south for that matter. But I also know that when we give God our 100% of faith he gives us His 100% blessing.
I look back to my journey that brought me to this moment right now in Mequon, Wisconsin. I can trace it back to being 6 years old when I took my very first gymnastics class, to being 14 and deciding to compete for Salem Gymnastics where I learned skills that prepared me to make the cheerleading team at Kennesaw State at 18 years old. It was at Kennesaw where my coach first introduced me to the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling. It was at Kennesaw where my coach was coached by Fee a few years before she took her idea to the University of Oregon to create Acro &Tumbling. I left Kennesaw in search of the desire to compete again. And it was at Charlotte that I learned the value of hard work, aquired skills that has prepared me to be a better coach, and met friends that became family and will remain by my side no matter how far we distance apart. God has been preparing my path for this adventure since I was 6 years old and I never even knew it.
Ephesians 3:20 says,
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
I do not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future. And I am incredibly grateful for this new dream adventure to unfold, but I will also continue to pray, and chase after other dreams that my heart longs for. Because that is God’s purpose for us. He wants us to dream, and He wants us to dream so big that our dreams cannot be accomplished on our own. He wants us to dream dreams that only He can accomplish so that He receives all the glory. And friends let me be the first to tell you, this adventure I’m enduring, this dream I am living, IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF ME. I am in no way qualified to coach this sport, there is no logical reason why I should be given this opportunity. I have been given this opportunity by God, and in faith I chose to accept the adventure and experience the blessings, the struggles, the trials, and the triumphs that come with it.
I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it, God did not design us to be ordinary. He created us to live and be extraordinary. But that is a choice He freely gives us. He gives us the opportunity to dream, He gives us the chances that will change our life forever, but it is up to us to have the faith to trust Him and to pursue the dreams He gives us. The Bible is filled with stories of adventure, with servants who chased dreams and recieved blessings beyond their imagination. Check out Hebrews 11, it is filled with God’s providence of what happens when His children pursue dreams with 100% of their faith.
So let me encourage you once more, dream, dream so big, dream so big people look at you like you are crazy. Live a life that makes other people question their faith. My dreams have taken me to Georgia, to Charlotte, and now to Wisconsin. I have friends whose dreams have taken them to Australia, to Haiti, to Honduras, to South Africa. God can do ANYTHING when we give Him our full faith, and our full trust. I promise you will NEVER be disappointed.